Jonas Bevacqua, 34, who cofounded the popular hip-hop-oriented clothing company LRG, was found dead Tuesday at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Orange County sheriff's officials said there were no obvious signs pointing to a cause of death for Mr. Bevacqua, who cofounded the clothing brand LRG in 1999 and presided over its rapid rise as a major fashion force among young people. Medical examiners were investigating Wednesday.
"Jonas was a star who burned brightly in the sky and who is gone far too soon," said part of a statement on Irvine-based LRG's website that described Mr. Bevacqua as a friend, partner, father, and mentor. "There is a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. He will always be loved and missed by his friends, family, and all those he inspired."
According to the company's Facebook page, Mr. Bevacqua and his business partner, Robert Wright, founded Lifted Research Group, known to patrons as LRG, with start-up capital raised in part from friends of Mr. Bevacqua's adoptive father.
Mr. Bevacqua had dropped out of college and moved back home with his parents when he met Wright while working as a DJ at southern California clubs. The two sketched out some of their earliest fashion ideas in his bedroom.
By 2006, LRG had annual sales of $150 million and was named by Entrepreneur magazine as No. 5 on its list of that year's 500 fastest-growing companies. Among its popular clothing lines are Luxirie, which targets 18- to 30-year-old women, offering clothing with western and military themes, and items such as crystal-covered jeans.
LRG has since branched out to include sales of electronic devices, music, and other items. It described itself as a "creative lifestyle" company that attempts to reflect its founders' interests, not only in fashion but also environmental causes and other activities.
The company is also involved in the promotion of underground recording artists and sponsors a skateboarding team, according to its website. - AP